Thursday, July 28, 2016
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Daniel Meyer, who previously oversaw the Defense Department’s decisions on whistleblowing cases, also says he was targeted for being gay, according to records obtained by McClatchy.
Meyer made the allegations in a complaint before the Merit Systems Protection Board, an administrative panel that handles employment grievances from federal employees, after another agency rejected his claims.
Meyer’s claims add to a barrage of allegations that the federal government’s handling of defense and intelligence whistleblower cases is flawed.
In the complaint, Meyer, who once worked for the Pentagon’s inspector general’s office, accused his former Defense Department bosses of “manipulation of a final report to curry favor” with then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
The inspector general’s report concluded that Panetta had leaked classified information to the makers of the film “Zero Dark Thirty,” Meyer said. That conclusion was later removed after then-acting Inspector General Lynne Halbrooks met privately with Panetta, he said. Meyer does not accuse Panetta or Halbrooks of making the change.
Halbrooks, who is now practicing law at a private firm, said she’s certain Meyer’s complaint will be rejected. “During my time in the Office of Inspector General, I strongly supported the rights of whistleblowers throughout the Department of Defense,” she said in an email. “I am confident that any government agency’s review of Mr. Meyer’s allegations will find them to be without any merit.”...
Monday, July 25, 2016
LAW ENFORCEMENT ACROSS the globe use semi-autonomous technology to do what humans find too dangerous, boring, or just can’t. This week, the Cleveland Police had a few nonlethal ones on hand at the Republican National Convention. But even those can be outfitted to kill, as we saw in Dallas earlier this month when police strapped a bomb to an explosive-detonation robot, and boom: a non-lethal robot became a killer. If that thought scares you, you’re not alone. Human rights activists worry these robots lack social awareness crucial to decision-making. “For example, during mass protests in Egypt in January 2011 the army refused to fire on protesters, an action that required innate human compassion and respect for the rule of law,” said Rasha Abdul Rahim of Amnesty International in a statement last year arguing that the UN should ban killer robots. More than a thousand robotics experts, including Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking, signed a letter last summer warning against machines that can select targets without human control. We wanted to find out just how many of these things are in use around the world. But law enforcement isn’t exactly forthcoming about the topic, so this list is not exhaustive. Here’s what we found...
Sunday, July 24, 2016
The shooting of Ahmed Bouchiki took place within the context of an ongoing Israeli campaign codenamed Operation Wrath of God, which Prime Minister Golda Meir had set in motion following the terror attack on the Israeli team at the Olympic Games in Munich the preceding summer.
That attack, carried out by the Black September organization, which was in turn associated with the Fatah Palestinian resistance organization headed by Yasser Arafat, had resulted in the murder of 11 Israeli athletes. In its wake, Israel resolved to track down and kill each of the people involved in the massacre.
Black ops vs the Red Prince
Intelligence pointed to Ali Hassan Salameh, nicknamed “the Red Prince,” as being the Black September operations chief and responsible for planning in Munich.
By the summer of 1973, Salameh had been tracked to Lillehammer, a resort town in central Norway. A team of some 15 Israelis assembled in the town, where they were joined by Mossad head Zvi Zamir and the supervisor of the operation, Mike Harari.
A UPI news report from 2005 refers to then-recently declassified British records claiming that members of the Israeli team in Lillehammer followed a man they had identified as a Palestinian courier to a public swimming pool, where he spoke with a man who matched their photos of Salameh.
In fact, the man the courier was speaking with was Ahmed Bouchiki, and he only resembled Salameh. His conversation with the Palestinian courier was apparently incidental.
With their presumed target now in their sights, the Israelis tracked Bouchiki until the following evening, when he and his wife, a Norwegian woman named Torill Larsen, alighted from a bus after seeing a movie together.
Bouchiki and Larsen began walking toward home when two assassins appeared and shot him, 13 times. Larsen, who was pregnant, was unharmed. By the time police and rescue squads arrived, Bouchiki was dead...
A team of researchers at Arizona State University's (ASU) Human-Oriented Robotics and Control Lab have developed a system for managing swarms of robots with brain power.
ASU's new system can be used to direct a group of small, inexpensive robots to complete a task. If one robot breaks down, it's not a big loss, and the rest can continue with their mission. ASU researcher Panagiotis Artemiadis tells ZDNet that swarms of robots can be used for "tasks that are dirty, dull, or dangerous".
In the future, humans can use their thoughts to manage a team of robots that will work together to accomplish a goal. Artemiadis says:
Applications of this research can be found in a plethora of tasks that include delivery of medical help to remote areas, search and rescue to inaccessible environments and disaster areas or exploration of unknown and remote environments, ranging from underwater to space. Since most of the applications require the human in the loop, our work focuses on the optimization of the human control interface in order to increase the operation efficiency and accuracy.
In the prototype system, a user wears a skull cap with 128 electrodes wired to a computer. The cap records electrical brain activity, which is then translated by advanced-learning algorithms into commands that are wirelessly sent to the robots. The user watches the robots and mentally pictures them doing different tasks, such as spreading out or moving in a certain direction. Conventional joysticks only control one robot at a time, but our minds can control an entire flock...
A report has exposed a shocking lack of medical care for a prisoner at Mt Eden prison, formerly run by Serco.
The cellmate of a cancer-stricken elderly prisoner was forced to clean his friend's gangrenous toes with toilet paper after the prison failed to provide adequate care.
Details of the incident, which happened at Auckland's Mt Eden Prison in 2013 while it was managed by the multinational company Serco, were revealed in a report released by the Health and Disability Commissioner.
As well as failing to treat the prisoner's toes, the report slams Serco for failing to provide painkillers and denying him a wheelchair despite there being two available.
The man died later in the year...
Saturday, July 23, 2016
'The Carlyle Group is a massive "private equity firm," which raises money from wealthy individuals and companies, and then reinvests the money into private defense companies with extremely high profit margins. It is made up of well known politicians such as George Bush, Sr. and James Baker, and it is one of the most powerful elements of the "military industrial complex," which is a business built around the defense industry being so large and powerful that it able to influence the politics of war. This video discusses the structure of the group and explains its history of many abuses.'